My mother always said that we came into this world to create, that this is our purpose. Then why is it so hard? We call it soul food, because it’s meant to feed the soul. Then why is the soul so hard to please?
When I see a leaf, I am inspired.
Walking around in busy shops inspires me too. Or old towns of history. Or new towns with no history. Or just sitting in my living room, alone, listening to the best songs I know and watching a candle burn, wondering if my tree in a pot is feeling lonely.
Human stories and the simplicity of their minds is what makes me want to run to my space and write. To take my red electric guitar, plug it into an amp that is not meant for it and strum out ambient stories of nonsense.
This sounds very romantic, but most of this only happens in my head.
I go to work, I want to write. I get home from work, I turn on the TV. Juggling a full time job and having the dream of living out my creative fantasies of being a world class novelist, poet and songwriter while being the lazy procrastinator that I am is exhausting. Exhausting because the worrying about it all takes up so much brain capacity, to the point where it actually feels like I have accomplished something that day by stressing about it.
The figments of my imagination long to be splashed onto a piece of paper and escape the dusty shelves of my mind, but it gets so hard when I am preoccupied all the time.
I read from Lena Dunham that “99% of art making is having a fantasy on the floor of your shower,” and that resonates with me.
Inspiration can be my biggest blessing or my biggest curse. It can lead to a state of complete creative flow with a wonderful idea coming to life, or it can drive me nuts for the lack of outcome. Writer’s block. What is that really? For me, it is not completely comprehensible. But I think it is not a state of being, rather than a few seconds of doubt that creep up your spine and paralyze the creative notion for just a second. But that second is enough to make you doubt everything to the point where you give up. Now, the truly great ones are the ones who are able to push past it. Past the barrier of uncertainty and let the hesitation halt the flow for less than a second, to then pick themselves up and push through it. But I don’t think I am there yet unfortunately. Of course I am the only one who can fix it, I know.
Why is the notion of a struggling artist so romanticized? I think it’s because at least the artist is pursuing its passion. It’s truly living while doing what it desires to achieve, even if it struggles to achieve it. It is trying. And that is why the notion seems so idealistic. Our souls have been brought to this Earth to do more than merely exist, more than to follow the beaten part of “what we’re supposed to do.” More than to die doing a dead-end job we have no interest in simply for big bucks. We are here to create and to be created and re-created. And that is why the lack of creativity can bring on symptoms of such sorrow, no self-control and feeling lost - it’s because lack of creativity often feels like lack of self.